November 7, 2011
When I first heard about this movie entitled "In Time" and its sci-fi concept of humans live to the age of 25, I sort of imagined a story sort of like "Logan's Run.". This made me want to catch it. After watching the film, that it wasn't really quite the "Logan's Run" scenario that I expected it to be. I was amazed at how innovatively the writer and director Andrew Niccol (he of "Gattaca" and "The Truman Show") presented his highly original concept of how our future may be.
"In Time" presents a very interesting world of the future where human aging stops at 25 years old. After that, you can survive only with the amount of extra time you have earned and saved from your daily livelihood and other activities. Time is therefore their currency, and one's remaining time is marked on a glowing digital clock on one's forearm. When you are very rich in time, you can certainly live forever. When you run out of time, you die that very instant. Ingenious!
Will Salas is a guy from the poor side of town. His mom (played by younger actress Olivia Wilde) dies out because her clock ran out before she and Will were able to get together on the night of her birthday. Will resolves to avenge her death by fighting the very system that their society runs on. Taking with him the daughter of a rich banker named Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) as his lover and partner-in-crime, the pair goes on a spree to steal deposited time in banks and in turn give it away to those poor in time. The Time Police led by dedicated officer Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) and a gang of time extortionists led by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer) provide the exciting conflicts and consequent cat-and-mouse chases that propel the story forward.
The movie looks very slick and polished in terms of its overall look, camera work and colors. As the cast members are ALL young, it was certainly a very handsome-looking world indeed that they have created. It was obvious that Niccol had fun in showing people from different generations all portrayed by actors in their twenties, such that you really could not guess how one character was related to the other. In my opinion though, Justin Timberlake looked miscast as the hero Will Salas. I was thinking that maybe it could have been better if JT and Alex Pettyfer traded roles. JT could probably have played the antagonist role more credibly. Cillian Murphy though was perfect in his role, especially with his characteristically intense face. Amanda Seyfried has really gone a long way from "Mamma Mia."
Save for some quibbles about how easy it seemed to take time away from a person and how careless some characters are about their time, I was nonetheless thoroughly entertained by this stylish Bonnie and Clyde meet Robin Hood story in a futuristic Logan's Run setting. The imaginative creativity of Andrew Niccol is very commendable. His incisive social commentary about the gap between rich and poor in the script would also not be lost on the audience.